And while he has changed, he really is very much the same kid he's always been.
The second half of the school year went quite well. He became quite good buddies with two of the boys in his class, and developed some other more peripheral friendships. While "the three musketeers" may not have always been the greatest influence on each other, they did seem to really like each other and The Bean was much happier overall. They seemed to play a lot of superheros and StarWars. The Bean knows very little about either one, but talks about both a lot. Ha ha!
Academically he did very well this year. He still needs to work on self-regulation a bit, but overall his report card was glowing. He's a great helper and very caring towards others. His literacy, math, science, music, art, media and phys. ed. skills are all wonderful. My biggest concern for the second part of the year was that he wasn't challenged enough based on what I know he is capable of. Inquiry in the kindergarten classroom is student-driven, which I like, but I felt like he didn't walk away from the units with a lot of new knowledge or understanding. Fortunately I have a pretty good relationship with his teacher (who he will have again next year) so I think I'll just have to stay more on top of knowing what it is they're studying and reinforcing it at home.
That said, a few of his newer interests seem to have stemmed from things they were exploring at school --space and dinosaurs being the two standouts. There have been lots of solar systems and t-rexes drawn lately.
He's still super-social. I'm convinced that he knows 90% of the staff and students (and their parents!) at his school based on the greetings he both calls out and receives when walking through the school hallways. I've had more than a handful of teachers stop me to talk about how much they adore him. He also keeps up with the comings and goings of the neighbourhood, shouting out hellos to people on their way to work from our balcony most mornings.
We've seen him pushing the limits a little bit with his behaviour. I think a lot of what we're seeing is stemming from his desire to be more independent, but he's not necessarily ready for all the independence he (thinks he) wants. I've been pretty strict now that he's home for the summer and I think he's starting to understand that he needs to stay within our boundaries.
That said, he's mostly really cooperative and has become such a great helper and very independent in his day-to-day routines. He rarely complains about being asked to help tidy up. He has started doing little chores, like clearing his plate after a meal, without reminders. He wakes up, brushes his teeth and gets dressed, and heads into the kitchen for breakfast without being asked. We give him lots of acknowledgement and praise for being so helpful.
He continues to be a very loving, affectionate kid. It's not uncommon for him to say "I love you" or give you a big hug or kiss for no reason.
To describe The Bean as active would be an understatement. I think if he had his choice, he would be moving all the time. He is very interested in sports. He continued Gymnastics throughout the winter and spring, and as I know I've said before his body control is amazing. We've noticed that he's gotten stronger too. In the spring he also did swimming lessons and progressed from Preschool Swim 1 to Preschool Swim 2, which means he was able do things like jump into the water and bob back up, do assisted floats, glides, and kicks. He's still not a swimmer, but he's definitely more comfortable in the water than he was. I'm hoping he'll be able to continue in the fall. He also started skateboarding lessons with a teenager from down the street. It's only half and hour once a week and pretty casual at that, but he loves it. The guy teaching him is very calm and cool --a good influence, I think. Of course, he also still bike rides, scooters, climbs (EVERYTHING!), runs, jumps, etc.
He had his first ER visit this past Mothers' Day. He was, apparently, trying to use his pillow as a bobsled and overshot a little, landing on the wooden floor with his chin. It split right open and required four stitches. He was pretty stoic during the whole ordeal. (Which is how I would expect him to handle something like this. It's just his way.) He was pretty proud to show the stitches off at school and it really didn't slow him down any.
He's definitely become much more interested in fine motor skills like building, art and writing. He's into constructing things whether it be from Duplo or recyclables. He often wants to make signs or write notes. He's quite good at sounding out words, but usually asks for help. He likes to make things to send people in the mail.
Singing is another newer interest. He's always loved music, and learned a ton of new songs at school this year. He took the end of year performance very seriously. They sang three songs -Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Tomorrow, and Talk to the Animals. I was impressed that he was able to remember all of the words and carry a tune. He's got quite a sweet little singing voice.
He's also become much more interested in playing games. We have several; his favourites seem to be Go Fish, memory match, mancala, this one called Camelot Jr., and Jenga. He loves to play on the tablet and phone, but that's a treat reserved for weekends.
In all things, he still shows a tendency towards perfectionism and competitiveness. He wants to be able to do most things perfectly the first time, and we've been talking a lot about the need to practice and how it's okay not to be "the best" at everything. He was quite frustrated when he asked to take the training wheels off his bicycle, but then kept tipping over. We ended up putting them back on.
Food wise things are going well. He's started eating a much wider variety of foods. Even if something is not "his favourite" he knows he has to try it, and he usually eats it without complaining. Often he even remarks on how good something tastes and almost always says thank you for making dinner. It's so nice to be able to prepare one meal at dinner time rather than trying to make different things to accommodate everybody. He's still completely off dairy.
He weighs just over 37lbs. I'm not sure how tall he is, but he's typically wearing size 4 and 5 shirts and size 4 pants. (He can get away with smaller sizes in shorts. He's still a skinny mini.) Shoe size is a 10. Like with Sprout, I had his feet measured and found out I had been putting him in shoes that were much too small. Oops.
His sleep is pretty good. He recently went through a bit of a bed-wetting spell, but we started taking him to the washroom when we went to bed and that seems to have helped quite a bit. He occasionally has nightmares and will call out or cry for us to come and comfort him. Mostly though he falls asleep quickly at bedtime (7:30/8:00pm) and wakes up at a fairly reasonable time in the morning (6:00/7:00am).
He's a pretty terrific kid. I feel like we're on this cusp between him being a little kid and being a big kid, so I'm trying to make an effort to appreciate where he is right now. We love him so much!
-his favourite colour is red
-his "uniform" (according to him) is sweat pants/shorts and a superhero t-shirt